The Positive Uses and Benefits of Recycled Tires
Improper or poor tire disposal can create a myriad of health and safety problems. Fires have erupted in tire piles, lasting for weeks or months at a time and releasing chemicals into the air and ground. Millions of tax dollars have been spent putting out these fires and cleaning up afterwards. Tire dumps often become breeding grounds for vermin and mosquitoes, which can carry diseases. The illegal dumping of tires pollutes streams, woods, roadsides and other public land.
Fortunately, in the last couple of decades, the tire recycling industry has grown by leaps and bounds. Not only is this good news for those wishing to be rid of tires, it’s also good news for the environment, which is why properly disposing of your tires is not just important—it’s critical.
There are a variety of innovative uses for scrap tires. Scrap tire material has actually become a valuable resource, across many different industries:
Fuel—Whole and reduced-size scrap tires are burned for fuel that is used to power cement kilns, pulp and paper mills. Tires actually burn hotter and cleaner than coal, so by replacing coal, tires help reduce emissions.
Construction Materials—The majority of states in the U.S. use scrap tires for roads and various civil engineering initiatives. Scrap rubber is inexpensive and useful as fill under roads where clay or other weak soils can be problematic. Shredded scrap tires are also useful in sound walls, bridge foundations and landfill construction.
Crumb Rubber—Crumb rubber is finely ground rubber produced from waste tires. Steel and tire cords are removed from discarded tires, and the remaining rubber is reduced to a granular consistency. These granules can be formed into a variety of products, including: vehicle mud guards, floor tiles, speed bumps and anti-fatigue mats.
Remolded Tires—Scrap tires that meet certain criteria can also be remolded with new treads and sidewalls, to create a cost-saving alternative to new tires. When properly manufactured, remolded tires can withstand the rigors of daily use, and many carry warranties similar to those of new tires.